Shiraz Lane… 3,5 months later

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When we noticed that Shiraz Lane was touring Europe and had a stop in Belgium as support of their country mates Lordi, we just knew we had to try to have another chat with them. So here we are, 3 and a half months after we talked with them in Helsinki during the Tuska weekend (interview here). Again Hannes Kett (vocals) was sitting in front of me to answer a few questions, this time in the companion of Joel Alex (bass).

Hey, nice to see you… again (aiming at Hannes) and nice to meet you for the first time (aiming at Joel)!
Hannes: Yes!
Joel: Nice to meet you too.

So, it’s been about 3,5 months since we last talked… how have you been, guys?
Hannes: Great, I’m very good. On tour now, first European tour… life couldn’t be better!
Joel: It’s been a lot of fun: good shows, good …, good people around…
Hannes: And we got to try a beer in every country we’ve been and well, we haven’t tried the beer here yet, but at least the beer in Germany was good!

Well, you definitely should! Since we had a whole conversation about that last time… (everybody laughing)
Hannes: Yeah, we will!

We have quite some bars here with a wide selection of different kinds of special beers, so maybe you should look for one after the show!
Hannes: Oh cool, we will, we will.

Now, I’ve noticed that you’ve been quite busy during summer already before this tour. Any favorite show of that period?
Hannes: Euhm, there was this show in Sotkamon Syke, it’s a Finnish festival. It was raining like hell, but the vibes were great. And we had one of our friends with us as a crew member, he drove us there. And we had this cottage all to ourselves there backstage and were just left there…had the sauna there and yeah, it was one of my favorite.
Joel: As a gig, I prefer Tuska Heatseeker…
Hannes: Yeah, as a gig definitely, but the vibes at Sotkamon Syke, those were good.

Sounds cool indeed. Now you’re on tour in Europe… with Lordi! How did that happen?
Hannes: (laughing) I don’t know… but here we are! I still don’t know!
Joel: It happened!
Hannes: Yeah, it happened! All I know, is that it’s fucking awesome! And Lordi is great, Silver Dust is fucking great!
Joel: We like the guys from both bands, we have a lot of fun together… grab some beers… we partied just 2 nights ago with Lordi…

Yeah, I noticed from those cool pics of the Lordi guys grabbing you guys and such…
Hannes: Yeah, they’re great guys. And it’s super nice, cause Lordi is a band that we all listened to when we were younger, so now to be here with them, touring around Europe, is fucking awesome!
Joel: I’ve been a huge Lordi fan and it’s so cool to be here with them!
Hannes: And we still are!
Joel: Yeah, we still are! It’s still every night a blast to go and see them play!

Have you had any chance yet to listen to their latest record (Monstereophonic vs Demonarchy, FYI)?
Hannes: The latest album? I listened to some of it, but that’s mostly because of the ones they’re playing live.
Joel: I listened to it before we started this tour…
Hannes: I mostly listened to my old favourites to get the vibe going, you know.
Joel: It’s a good record and that, you know, two halves thing they did… there’s a lot of heavy stuff on the B-side!

Yeah, I wrote a review of it and it was indeed the B-side in which they did something new for Lordi. Anyway, you both kinda play hard rock, but in a way you guys are way different…
Joel: Yeah, we don’t sound the same, we definitely don’t look the same (everybody laughs)
Hannes: Not yet, but maybe after the tour we will… (laughs)
Joel: Enough beers…
Hannes: Yeah, enough beers!
Joel: But I guess the crowd…
Hannes: The crowd is the same, they love hard rock.
Joel: They’re not too afraid to be tongue-in-cheek and you know, fun…
Hannes: It’s all about fun, it’s all about entertainment and Lordi is the same.
Joel: Lordi is horror but it’s fun.
Hannes: Yeah, we have a high entertainment value as well, just like Lordi and Silver Dust. So I think the three of us fit together perfectly.

Do you have any crazy rock ‘n’ roll stories already, like something that’ll stick with you for ages to come still?
Joel: The party in Switzerland we had two nights ago… I don’t know if it’ll stick with me ’cause I don’t remember the half of it, but it was a lot of fun!
Hannes: It was fucking awesome!
Joel: We were in Lordi‘s tour bus till 7 A.M.
Hannes: Until they had to leave, then we went down (laughing)
Joel: But that was something…
Hannes: It’s like, every time they go on stage… it scares the shit out of me when I see them. And if I don’t know that they’re coming… it’s like: I’m just standing there and look to the right… Ox is coming… holy shit! So fucking crazy!
Joel: But yeah, what comes to rock ‘n’ roll memories, we haven’t had the time yet to do anything over the top stupid… yet (laughing)
Hannes: But it’ll come! We’re working on it! (laughing) But yeah, you write your own story and we’re definitely writing ours!
Joel: And we’re so busy with the gigs that we don’t go over the limit when we have gigs to do. When we have a day off we might have some time to write some rock ‘n’ roll stories, but otherwise it’s, you know…
Hannes: Yeah, we’re here to entertain, to play rock ‘n’ roll music… we don’t wanna suck, we always wanna be as good as we can, so that it’s like…
Joel: The job first, the fun after…
Hannes: The job first aspect, yeah
Joel: But fun after…
Hannes: Butt fun?! Butt fun is fun! Always fun! (both of them laughing and throwing the phrase “butt fun” back and forth a few times)

I guess we’ll come back to you for those stories later then!
Hannes: Yeah… (long pause) unless they’re as X-rated as the Lordi music video, then we’ll keep it to us maybe…
Joel: Someone will get hugged hardcore… (everybody laughing)

Have you noticed any differences between the reaction of crowds in different countries?
Hannes: Yeah…
Joel: The Eastern ones have been the wildest, I guess, the Eastern Europe gigs…
Hannes: Yeah, true! Like we love every country, but like in Austria it seems like when you do this (puts his hand up) they do this, but when you take your hand down…
Joel: That’s not in Eastern Europe…
Hannes: I know! That’s what I’m saying, when you take your hand down, they do it too. They need to be commanded.
Joel: But Budapest has been the greatest this far when it comes down to us and the audience!
Hannes: Yeah, it was fucking awesome!
Joel: They were wild… they were fucking wild!
Hannes: Yeah, they were!

Let’s hope the crowd goes wild here tonight as well!
Hannes: Yeah, we’ll make sure they go!
Joel: We’ll see.
Hannes: It’s up to us to get them wild…

So, have you been missing the homefront while you’re on the road?
Hannes: Well, you know, it’s like… you can miss your cat and you can miss your girlfiend. But at the same time we’re living the dream, getting to do things that others can only dream about… And with the social media and phones and all that, we can see each other, we can talk to each other. It’s not like we have to send a post card that they only get seven months later. It’s different nowadays, so no problems with it really.
Joel: I don’t miss my bed… (said sarcastically)
Hannes: No, now way… (joining in being sarcastic)
Joel: I’ve been bouncing around in camper which is small and shitty…
Hannes: But still at the same time it feels like home, cause home is where your heart is and our heart is on this tour!
Joel: Yeah… for now…

Now, after the tour time for a bit of rest?
Hannes: Fuck no! Who the fuck needs rest?! I’ll sleep when I’m dead! No, I think we have a week or so after our last show. We come home on Monday and already play again on Saturday or something like that, so yeah.
Joel: But after that, I guess it’ll be mostly song writing for the second album. Which we already started to work on, but there’s still a lot of work to do.
Hannes: Yeah, we want time to write the right songs.
Joel: Less shows, but it’s not resting really.

Looking already at a possible next tour: who would you want to tour with next time?
Hannes: Guns ‘n’ Roses, man! (laughing)
Joel: Yeah, Guns ‘n’ Roses reunited European tour!
Hannes: I could do that… (laughing) but yeah, you never know what’ll happen…
Joel: And you know, we just announced that we’ll be playing with the Backyard Babies in Helsinki in February. It would be cool to have a full tour with them, but that’s not going to happen right now. But I’d be looking forward to that!
Hannes: Yeah, Ana and Joel really enjoy them.
Joel: That would be cool.
Hannes: Yeah. There are many bands we’d like to play with of course… why not… we can headline, they can warm up for us! (laughing) I don’t know, there are so many bands, the list would just go on and on…

Still about this tour: is there any venue or city you’re looking forward to right now?
Hannes: The last one in the UK, not because it’s the last one, but because the venue (O2, FYI) is fucking legendary. But, Berlin… I don’t know, pretty much every venue.
Joel: I don’t really know much about the venues…
Hannes: Yeah, me neither, I just know that the last one is legendary.
Joel: I’m just in the camper, I wake up somewhere and then I go like “yeah, this is the venue.” (laughing)
Hannes: Like last night we slept while driving through I think 5 countries.
Joel: Yeah.
Hannes: You know, of course some people think that touring is like you’re on a vacation, but it’s a lot of work, it’s hard work. You have to get used to the whole schedule, you play the gig… you have to work and then have to go to sleep…
Joel: It’s work, but it’s not hard.
Hannes: Yeah, but like we go to sleep at like 3-5 A.M. and then you wake up at 2 P.M. but that’s how it is. For me as the vocalist that’s the hard part, I need a lot of sleep. The first week was really hard to getting used to the sleeping regiment, sleeping in the camper all day. But now everything’s going well!

Now, I asked Hannes this question the last time, but since I now have Joel here I wanna ask you as well: Your favorite album ever would be…?
Guns ‘n’ Roses, Appetite for Destruction (answering without any hesitation)

Hmm, that was way faster than you guys last time!
Hannes: What did I say again back then?

You said your own…
Oh right!
Joel: My answer is wrong…
Hannes: Yes! Your answer is wrong! No, Appetite is a great album indeed! But I still stay with my answer, sorry (laughing)

A question that might be a bit tricky too: imagine that you could have a Shiraz Lane festival, what would the line-up be like?
Hannes: Oh shit…
Joel: I guess first the obvious… Guns ‘n’ Roses (laughing) and then we would pay Sebastian enough so he would…
Hannes: It’s not up to Sebastian, we would pay Rachel and Sebastian and everyone else in the band enough so they’d get together… for the fans! Because of the fucking fans!
Joel: So long story short… Skid Row. And Steel Panther… we would take Lordi of course!
Hannes: Alice Cooper… hey, we could have like theme days like horror day: Alice Cooper, Lordi,… yeah! (clearly getting more excited about it)
Joel: And then out of new rock ‘n’ roll band that became more notices, I’d like The Struts from the UK.
Hannes: Yeah! We could have like a Brittish Invasion theme day!
Joel: From Finland Lost Society, Blockbuster… maybe our friends from Santa Cruz too (saying it in a teasing voice and laughing) but we’d be playing after them… (laughing)
Hannes: We would headline the whole fucking festival, come on man!
Joel: Yeah… Guns ‘n’ Roses our warm-up, bitch! (laughing) But that’s a lot of good stuff already…
Hannes: But there’s so many…
Joel: Aerosmith‘s farewell tour! (laughing)
Hannes: Who else…? Led Zeppelin! But well, we can’t really… well, whatever!
Joel: In that case I’d like to have Queen with Freddy Mercury!
Hannes: Yeah, and Jimi Hendrix!
Joel: Though Queen with Adam Lambert wouldn’t be bad either.
Hannes: Yeah! They’re amazing.

We actually have a really good Led Zeppelin cover band in Belgium that gets really close to the real deal, maybe that’s something?
Hannes: That could be cool! What are they called?

Lost the name right now… (it’s the really obvious Letz Zeppelin of course, FYI)
Joel: We’ll take them!
Hannes: Whatever, let’s start with that at least. But we should definitly have theme days!

Sounds great really! Now, one more question that I kind of forgot last time: Where does your band name come from?
Hannes: Shiraz Lane? It comes from us! (laughing) No, actually it’s a question we get asked often. It’s just one of those stories… we were drinking with the guys, thinking of names for the band. We were drinking red wine and Shiraz is a grape. And I love red wine, so it was nice. And we were getting a bit tipsy, a bit drunk, thinking about life, being like “life’s fucking awesome, man! It’s fricking amazing!” At this point we were at our first rehearsal space just in the beginning of everything. We were just thinking that nothing was going to stop us, let’s enjoy life and while we enjoy life, let’s drink some red wine. Cause life is really all about the journey and not the destination, cause the destination is your grave. So fucking just live your life to the fullest! That pretty much is it.
Joel: So we just added lane to represent the journey…
Hannes: Yeah. And actually you can find Shiraz Lane in a few countries, which we didn’t know back then, but is pretty cool.

Yeah, I had a bit of a look on Google to see where you might have gotten inspiration from and found those too. But then started think that it could be the wine…
Yeah… it was the wine… (laughing)

Did you bring your bubbles along again for the show today, like at Heatseeker?
Well, we actually have a whole different set and aw, I think we don’t have the bubbles with us!
Joel: We’ll just mostly play a nice rock ‘n’ roll show and hope the crowd has as much fun as we do.

Well, I know I will…
Hannes: Yeah! You’ll be on the front row showing your titties being “fuck yeah!” (everyone laughs)

Thank you for the talk again, it’s nice to see you and see all the things happening for you!
Thank you! We’re here, enjoying life!
Joel: Yep…

We said our goodbyes and I gave them a bottle of good Belgian special beer to make sure they got at least something good from my country. These guys are really going places and will keep on growing, looking at how good and damn nice they are to their fans. Keep an eye out for them!